HIIT the rower
Use this underrated machine to send your strength and fitness through the roof
Ain’t nothing humble about the rowing machine. Hello full-body plan of attack
We feel sorry for the humble rowing machine, sitting in the gym gathering dust because nobody knows how to use it right. You know how to row, sure – but it can offer so much more, according to PT Firas Iskandarani. “It really is such an underrated machine,” he says. “Use it to do bodyweight exercises – the instability of a sliding surface will help boost your core activation.” Try these four genius moves for starters.
FYI: Do each move for 45 secs, followed by a 15-sec break. Repeat the circuit 4 times.
1. Bear crunch
(a) Set yourself up in a plank position with your feet on the seat of the rower and your palms on the floor behind it. (b) Core activated? Bum clenched? Great. Pull your knees up towards your chest, and then push out to return to the starting position. Avoid raising your hips as you move and maintain control throughout the whole movement. Done!
2. Side split squat
TARGETS Glutes, quads, adductors
(a) Stand behind your rower, left side-on. Keeping your right heel firmly on the floor, put your left foot on the seat.
(b) Straighten your left leg as you squat, allowing the seat to slide away. Go as low as you can, ensuring that your back remains flat, your right knee doesn’t overshoot your toes and your right heel stays pressed into the floor. Now, gradually rise and repeat. Feel the burn? You’re on the right track!
3. Push plank
TARGETS Abs, triceps, anterior deltoids
(a) Pop your feet on the seat and get into a plank again with your palms on the floor. Lift your right hand and replace your palm with your elbow. Then repeat on the left side.
(b) Pause briefly, then reverse the movement to return to the start. Repeat, this time leading with your left hand. Easier said than done. Think of this like an all-over body toner!
TARGETS Full body
(a) Row as hard as you can, while still maintaining correct form. Start with a tall torso in the ‘catch’ position, drive back with your legs, extend your hips and pull back with your arms. Once you’ve finished the pull, return back into the start position by disengaging in the opposite order. (b) On the final round, row for 1 min. Log your PB and try to beat it next time. Guaranteed to get your game on!